coronavirus illinois

‘We're Getting Cocky:' Will County Officials Issue Warning Amid COVID Outbreak Tied to Wedding

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Health officials in suburban Will County are once again warning residents to remain vigilant after a wedding resulted in a COVID outbreak involving at least 20 confirmed and probable cases.

Steve Brandy, public information officer with the Will County Health Department, says that a spring surge in cases has officials worried and urging the public to take the ongoing threat of the COVID pandemic seriously.

“I had someone call me about a rodeo event last weekend. There is a lot going on and we are getting careless,” he said.

Brandy says that contact tracers are continuing to discover new cases daily from a series of events in mid-March, including several weddings.

“There was an event hosted in Joliet, and then a banquet hall in DuPage County and a place of worship in Cook County,” he said.

According to WCHD, the events surrounding the wedding took place between March 10 and 13, and included a series of events that were held indoors with approximately 120 people in attendance.

It’s not just big events that leaders are worried about. The stretch of warmer weather this month is a sure sign that summer is right around the corner, and leaders are pleading with residents to keep their guard up, and to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

“We are getting cocky,” Brandy said. “We think we are done and we don’t need to social distance, and that is a big mistake.”

According to officials, Will County has completed more than 300,000 COVID vaccination doses to date, with thousands more appointments set to open in coming days.

The positivity rate in Region 7, home to Will and Kankakee counties, currently stands at 5%, with consistent increases in recent days. ICU bed availability is down to 24%, and hospitalizations have increased each of the last 10 days.

State health officials are pushing hard to stem the tide of new cases, with all adult residents outside of the city of Chicago becoming eligible for the coronavirus vaccine beginning on Monday.

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